Rise in housing problems leads to homelessness threat

Housing problems have increased dramatically between July and September, according to Citizens Advice and homelessness charities.

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy has expressed concern at the rising number of homeless people visiting its centres. The period between July and September 2010 saw a 14% rise in the number of individuals seeking help with housing problems since last year. The overall rise in housing problems was fuelled by increases in enquiries about homelessness, both actual and threatened, up 22% to 24,720 compared to 20,289 in the same quarter in 2009.
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “This big increase in the number of homelessness enquiries we are seeing is very worrying. The rapid growth in rent arrears to private sector landlords should also ring alarm bells with the government, MPs and local councils as they consider the likely impact of the big cuts to housing benefit that are looming.

“Most of the private tenants we see with rent arrears are on incomes of less than £1,000 a month, and many are already struggling to meet a shortfall between housing benefit payments and their rent. The planned cuts could tip tens of thousands more individuals and families into rent arrears, putting them at real risk of homelessness.”

With further cuts to housing benefit set to come into place next April, many householders are facing even tougher times ahead.

While Recycling Lives can’t tackle the problem of homelessness single-handedly, we’re working with charities and government bodies to provide a safety net for adults who find themselves in a precarious position when it comes to homelessness and unemployment. Our residential programme acts as a step-up to people who are ready to get back to work but just need a little extra help, and we tailor the scheme to suit each Resident’s needs.

As the festive season draws nearer, we want to remind people that our service exists. Applicants to our programme can either self-refer or be referred by someone else, so take a look at our entry criteria to see whether our residential programme might be the next step for you, or someone you know.

Homelessness can happen to anyone. Our aim is to give people the right support to help them get back on their feet. We offer accommodation, training, education and work experience, and Residents can stay with us for as long as it takes to find full-time employment and a place to call their own. As long as you’re ready and willing to get back to work, we’ll be there to help.